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Archive for December, 2007

After two consecutive weeks of sub-freezing temperatures and after hearing more than one raving review of the australian sheep-skin boots (including Christa’s here), I decided that I wasn’t up for thawing out my toes after coming home anymore and that I would very much like a pair of Uggs.

And so I let it be known that all I wanted for Christmas is Uggs.

Overpriced, trendy, but oh-so-toasty Uggs.

On Monday after a weekend of scouring the local shopping establishments and a day searching the internet, my good Nate informed me that Uggs were sold out everywhere. Apparently, I’m not the only one with Uggs on my wish list.

And so Shanel came over to console me and my toes,

and to show me her brand new Uggs.

Thanks Shanel! You’re the best.

She also brought a bag full of beautifully wrapped gifts from her and her happy boyfriend, Mike (who likes to read this blog occasionally, but don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret).

Ava got to open her present from Mike first.

Let’s see what she got.

Knives? Are those knives? She loves to help in the kitchen, yes, but knives. Come on Mike. You read the blog. You know she’s only three.

Oh wait. There’s more. Phew, Mike, I was worried there for a minute.

WHAT??!!??

NO! Uggs! Ava gets Uggs!
My Ava gets warm, adorable, snuggly Uggs.

Santa how could you let this happen?

Ava was hoping you would bring her a candy cane, and I, I wanted the sold-out, unavailable, frostbite-preventing Uggs.

It was very simple Santa. Little candy cane: child. Expensive boots: mama.

Look at these two: Matching ponchos, matching boots, matching smiles.

A huge thank you from Ava for the leopard skirt, sparkly poncho, and of course the Uggs.

Am I the only mama whose three-year-old dresses better than they do???

P.S. Look what Shanel wrapped up for me.


The Pioneer Woman’s calendar! If you haven’t read her blog yet, now would be the time. She is giving away a $500 gift certificate to Amazon books tonight!

If I don’t win that at least I’m due for a candy cane.

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word girl two

The other morning I helped Ava sound out the words on her bedroom wall while I was fixing her hair.
“s-w-e-e-t … d-r-e-a-m-s … a-v-a”
She was very impressed with herself. So impressed that she said, “See Mama, I know all my letters so now I can play scramble. I can play ’cause I’m a big girl.”That’s almost enough for a triple word score, right?

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hey la hey la

my Bubba’s back!


Sweet Bubba has returned after an extended stay at Hannah and Mariah’s house. I called Mariah on Sunday morning after Ava walked into our room crying, “My Bubbie didn’t sleep with me!” She and Hannah looked for Bubba, but didn’t find her until Ava was on her way back to their house Saturday night.

I know I’m in trouble for not posting this breaking news earlier. In my defense, I did not realize this was breaking news until three, yes three different people exclaimed, “Bubba’s back!!” upon spying her in Ava’s bed.”

It still blows my mind that when I hit publish the post goes out there into crazy-space and then you read it on your computer. And not only do you read it, but you actually remember what it is that I wrote. Between you and me, I rarely remember what I write. This tends to be a bit embarrassing when someone refers to a blog story in the middle of a conversation and I just stare at them blankly.

“You wrote about it … on your blog.”

Oh that’s right, I have a blog. And you must have read it. And yes, really that story that you are referring to really did happen.

You see, the publish button has become the-story-is-now-saved-to-a-hard-drive-and-now-I-don’t-need-to-keep
-it-in-my-brain button. (Have I ever mentioned that I like the hyphen key, cause I do.) So I forget about the story and forget that it’s out there waiting for you to read it.

So when I asked you pray for Ava and her like sweet little Bubba, you actually did pray about it. Which means that I should testify to all of you that the Lord heard your prayer and the prayer of little Ava, and Bubba was restored to her.

But not just Bubba and this part really blows my mind! Are you ready?

Okay, here’s the background before the mind-blowing part.

Each time Ava goes to bed she sleeps with no less than sixteen animals–the same sixteen animals. She does inventory every night before she goes to sleep and heaven help us if one of them is lost in the tangle of blankets or has fallen down the side of the bed. You know the story of shepherd and the ninety-nine sheep or the stories of the soldiers that were left behind and the troupe went back for them, well this archetype was imprinted in Ava’s DNA. There is no sleeping without the sixteen–and especially without Bubba.

Now for the hour or two while Ava is in bed, but not yet asleep she presides over her court of animals. The dynamics of this court are about as capricious and mercurial as a cafeteria table full of seventh grade girls. Who gets to sit by whom, who’s talking to whom, who likes whom is changing hands about as quickly as Ho Ho’s for Twinkies. Remember Froggy? He has since been excommunicated from the bed. He has been relegated to the dungeon/basement where he is still serving time for a crime Ava refuses to talk about. All in all, it truly a relaxing way to fall asleep.

While I don’t understand all the goings on of Queen Ava and her court, I do know that Bubba and Puppy are inseparable. The bulk of Ava’s Bubba-anxiety hung on this note: “Mama, Bubba needs her Puppy. She won’t sleep if she doesn’t have her!!”

On Sunday night when all sixteen were accounted for and I was tucking Ava in her bed, I saw Bubba snuggled up with Puppy.

“Oh, look Puppy and Bubba are together again,” I said picking up Puppy, but it wasn’t Puppy. It looked just like Puppy, but brand new.

“Who’s this?”

“That’s New Puppy.”

“Who’s New Puppy? Where’s he from?”

“Bubba got him. Bubba needed Puppy, so she got New Puppy.”

If you are confused then you are reading this right, because I’m still confused.

All I know is that you must have prayed really hard because when Bubba came home Sunday morning, she came home with a new puppy that looks frighteningly similar to her original best friend, Puppy.


If that doesn’t blow your mind, then you must not have a daughter with a room full of stuffed, cat-fighting friends.

P.S. Shanel–Did you ever think one little hospital gift could produce so much drama!

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share your toys

Once upon a time there was a girl who really liked parties,

so she invited a few of her favorite people to come to her house.
And she knew that guy she married really liked food,
so she made lots of food.
Her friends knew that he really liked food,
so they brought lots of food.

She also liked presents,
so she told her friends to bring gifts for each other.

Now she really liked children and so did her friends,
so these were no ordinary gifts.
These were gifts that would be given to children in need.

Her friends came.


And so did her brother.


They ate and laughed and talked and had a jolly good time.


And they each brought a present
that reminded them of one of their friends.

See this friend, she talks on her phone (a lot).


This friend went to see Star Wars and then married Princess Leah.

This friend likes to play in the dirt.


This friend is a super sweet Mama!


This friend broke his leg sliding into home plate
and fortunately found a helpful nurse at his home.

These two friends have been mistaken for Ken and Barbie.

And this guy, the one she married, he has stood in more than one overnight lines for a well-priced laptop.

After all the laughs were unwrapped they put these under the tree.

“Merry Christmas little ones,
may these gifts remind you of the true gift of Christmas!”

Oh, and the party girl? She got this.

Some people think she likes words.

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“Mama! Mahhh-Muhhh!!” shouted Ava from behind the bathroom door. “Someone is talking TOO LOUD!!”

“What do you mean someone is talking too loud?” I replied opening the door to find Ava seated on the potty with her lower lip sticking out.

“The bathtub won’t stop talking! He’s being too loud,” she explained crossing her arms in disgust.

“Does that help?” I replied shutting the curtain.

“No, the bathtub is still yelling. He’s being a badger!”

Heaven help us the badgers are back! And this time the devious creatures are cleverly disguised as a porcelain soaking tub. How do you get rid of that?

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“Mama, do witches hurt people?”

“Sometimes.”

“Where to witches live?”

“I don’t know. Maybe in the forest.”

“With the bears? Do they live with the bears? Maybe the bears eat them. The bears eat them, Mama. They eat them because they don’t want them to hurt anybody. Right, Mama? The bears eat the witches because they live in the forest. The giants live in the forest too. And they eat the bears. The giants eat the bears because they’re really naughty. And they eat them all up! And then the witches eat the giants!”

“The witches eat the giants?”

“Yeah! And then we eat the witches too. We have to cook them first in big pot of hot water. What do they say when we put them in hot water, Mama? ‘Ouch! OUCH!’ Do they say that, Mama?”

–Have I mentioned that Ava is a direct decedent of the early settlers of Salem, Massachusetts?

It’s true.

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in the lane

snow is glistening
what a beautiful day
we’re happy this waywalking in a

winter wonderland!

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attention please!!

BUBBA IS MISSING!

If you have seen this sweet, much loved pink bunny called, “bubba” or “bubbie,” please contact us here!

Bubba was last seen leaving Hannah and Mariah’s house Sunday night. Sunday night! That’s almost a weeks-worth of bubba-less nights. We have turned over mattresses, blankets, couch cushions, dust ruffles and rocking chairs in search of the chenille lovie.

We have begun to fear the worst–that Bubba fell out of the car Sunday night and was plowed away Monday morning. Please pray that we will find Bubba now or at least when the snow melts!

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As we traveling up the escalator at the nearby mall, my daughter spied “Santa” blowing his nose in between lap visitors.

“SANTA! SANTA!!! SAAAANTAAHH!” Ava bellowed across the mall causing the frosted glass bulbs in Crate and Barrel to clang together and the Aveda apron lady to rattle her tray of comforting tea. “SAAANTAAHH!”

Santa looked up from his candy cane handkerchief and waved his white glove at the cotton candy blur riding up, up and away.

I hustled the wide-eyed child through the maze of shoppers heavy laden with bags, and strapped her into her car seat as the clouds sent down yet another blanket of snow.

“Mama, I saw Santa. He’s a real Santa. A real Santa. Daddy says that Santa isn’t real, but he is. I saw him and he’s real. Maybe Daddy can come here and I have to show Daddy that that Santa is a real Santa.”

“Alright, Ava”

“Mama, Mama! Maybe God decided that he wanted to make a real Santa!! Right, Mama? Maybe God wanted a real Santa. He wanted a real one, didn’t He Mama? A real Santa! And He can make a real Santa. God can.” Ava declared as the tassels on her had bobbed up and down in agreement. “God makes everything, even real Santas!”

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okay, and the seventh too.

Sing with me now:

“On the seventh day of Advent, my secret sister gave to meCandles for burning


Paper for wrapping


Hot soothing tea


Bows, curling ribbon


Tree gift bags


Bird paper pad
And three shades of shiny lip balm!!!

“Mama, you get to open another present!!” Ava calls out every morning as she digs through the basket to find the number that corresponds with the number she opened on her advent calendar. She hands me the present and is nearly as excited as I am to see what lies beneath the gilded paper. I say nearly because honestly I love opening presents. The opening process is so exciting it often eclipses the actual present–I love the anticipation, the surprise, the hidden treasure.And what a treasure trove this basket has been! How could this dear friend know that I would have bronchitis and be sick of every tea in my cupboard by the fifth day of advent or that on the eight day I would have red candles on my shopping list? How could she predict that on the sixth day of advent, I would replace all the pictures on my mantle with Christmas pictures from the past several years and need red wrapping paper to matte 4 x 6 pictures in 5 x 7 frames. It’s like each gift is perfectly appointed for each day.

(Is that not the cutest Christmas baby you’ve ever seen!)


These well intentioned gifts remind me of one my favorite verses. I keep this verse neatly folded in my back pocket and pull out some part of it almost every time I pray: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning (just like my advent gifts). Great is your faithfulness, Oh Lord. [Lamentations 3:22-23]

I love the promise that each morning there are fresh new mercies for that day. And it never ceases! There is never a day that the God of love does not lay out some mercy of some kind for you. They don’t always appear wrapped in shiny paper and neatly tucked into a basket, but they are there just the same. God is faithful to his name and his promises. Some mornings I have to say to myself, “Rachel, there are mercies for you this day. It doesn’t look like it yet, but there are! You know that God is faithful, so now go and find them.”

During this Advent season as we wait for the greatest mercy of all, I encourage you to go and find the gifts that are wrapped up and laid out for you each morning by your Savior. I promise you that if you acknowledge them, your advent song will surpass the one here.

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